You never have a second chance to make a first impression, and for many businesses, the sign they have above the door is a big part of that first impression. Whether you like it or not, people will make judgements about your business based on your sign. So regardless of the purpose of the sign, making sure that you get the right look and feel for your business is crucial.


So let’s explore some of the things we should consider when we look at business signs.


It is vital that people can find you, particularly if you are a retail outlet that relies on clients locating amongst the other businesses in your locality. However, every business needs to be found by clients, suppliers and partners, so ensuring that you have clean, clear signs that reflect your branding is essential and is the primary function of most signage. Making it clear where people should park, which entrance should they use and where reception is are all occasions where clear signage is essential. Don’t be tempted to try and cram too much information onto your sign. Keep it simple, easy to read and stick to what the audience needs to know.



As soon as people set eyes on your sign, they should have a really good idea as to what your business is about. Any graphic designer will tell you that the font, colours and any graphics that you use in your logo, convey thoughts and feelings in your audience. You sign is an extension of that. If they have been onto your website or received an email from you, they should be able to clock your colours and font immediately, our brains are hard wired to do that.



Aside from our branding, there is an inferred message that comes with the type of sign that you choose. Acrylic will look modern and mass produced, hand painted will look more bespoke and individual, carving your logo into stone or metal will give the impression of a company that has been around for a long time. Whether you chose acrylic, metal, wood, neon, painted or stone to a large extent, will depend on where you are and what your business premises looks like. However, ensuring that your choice of material fits your brand is vital. You wouldn’t expect a stair lift company’s sign to be in pink neon for instance.



A sign that is dirty, cluttered, broken or faded (unless it was designed that way), will not reflect well on your business. Making sure your sign always looks it’s best and is doing it’s job will ensure that clients form the best impression of your business. Check signs regularly for wear and keep them clean.


Sometimes the sign is for advertising purposes, to tell passers by what you do and entice them in. In a world where we are surrounded by signs for all sorts of things, to get your sign to stand out, it needs to be different. Size, colour and subject matter can all be used effectively to get your sign and therefore your company, to be noticed.


Make it multi purpose

In this selfie obsessed world, turning your sign into something photographable, Instagramable is a smart marketing move. Many people now turn their logo into a piece of art that can be painted either inside, or outside of the building. This in turn give you an eye catching sign and something that others will want to photograph and share. Free advertising for you 365 days a year. So next time you are thinking about an external sign, why not see if you can turn it into a photo opportunity?


A quick do and don’t for your business signage

DO think about your audience

DON’T try to put too much information on there

DO think about brand consistency

DON’T be afraid to be noticed!

DO think about colours

DON’T use hard to read fonts

DO think BIG, size is everything…

DON’T forget to look after it

Good business signage is an investment and should not be skimped on; without it, no one will know just how great you are.